Marco Bruzzone

Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing

0425 September 2013

Almanac is delighted to present Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing, a project by Marco Bruzzone, produced in collaboration with Tag Team Studio in Bergen, Norway, with a contribution by Karl Holmqvist and a text by Dieter Roelstraete.

Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing is a project revolving around the idea of gravity (a force we must oppose from the day we are born until the time we die). Gravity pushes us towards the floor but also allows us to fall, to dive and, more in general, to move. In this sense, sculpture can be seen as expression and representation of the daily struggle necessary for human beings to keep upright, the triumph of humans over nature (from menhirs to pyramids, from equestrian statues to bike-wheelies) and ultimately a celebration of life.

In Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing, in contrast to this concept of sculpture, the focus is shifted from gravity and weight to the loss of both. Society faces the loss of weight in an unnatural circle of production, consumption and re-accumulation; processes that mark all aspects of people´s lives. The urgency to consume is no longer a matter of life-and-death struggle, but an impulse connected to the desire of accumulation. The works in this exhibition are an examination of lightness and, at the same time, the fictional attempt to reach a state of lightness and sublimation, to break up with bodily weight, and be able to see things with more primitive and unsophisticated eyes.

The obscene release of this circle of consumption remains hidden: an intimate activity relegated behind to the background of public scene. These inner desires and urges face humanity with its nature as a social animal.

Marco Bruzzone (Genoa, 1974) lives and works in Berlin. Selected exhibitions include: Bread and Stones (Deep down...worn out by abnormal passion), pcnc_bay, Berlin; To mistake an empty space for a square - Jingle all the way (with Patrick Tuttofuoco), Kunstverein Arnsberg (2012); Silent Football (Piano Solo), Palais de Tokyio, Paris (2012); Water Down the Sink (Spiral Eyes), The Ister, Brussels (2012); Celluloid Brushes, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin (2012), Etablissement d´en Face, Brussels (2011); The World is Bound in Secret Knots, Giuliani Foundation, Qwatz, Rome (2012);
Colli, Oslo 10, Basel (2011); Platonic Solids, Kunsthalle Basel (2011).

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The glorious whole

Anyone who has sat, headphone-assisted, through Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon will doubtlessly remember the poignant, echoing words at the very tail end of the album’s closing track, namely Eclipse—they were allegedly spoken by Abbey Road Studios doorman Gerry O’Driscoll in answer to the question “what is the dark side of the moon?”: “there is no dark side in (sic) the moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun.” I thought back of this earworm when I first heard Marco Bruzzone talk, over the phone, about his exhibition Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing at Almanac—an exhibition I don’t think I’ll get to see, and therefore remains shrouded in a darkness of its own for the writer of these lines—a devoted fellow traveler and follower of Bruzzone’s work for a solid number of years now.

Its pataphysical title notwithstanding, Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing finds the artist in a somewhat uncharacteristically Manichean, indeed solemn mood: this is the closest Bruzzone has come to pondering such seemingly unwieldy metaphysical dualisms as life and death, darkness versus light, levity not gravity (the noun derived from ‘grave’)—polar opposites that are squarely reflected in the exhibition’s black-and-white architecture. First, there is light, the celebratory vibe of weightlessness: a room full of paintings, some of which actually double as coat hooks—the question of ‘application’ has long been central to Bruzzone’s art practice (let’s think of it, more deferentially, as the animation of art objects). Second, a darkroom, lit up by the scattered glow of a video projection alone—and speaking of application, animation: this moving image actually ‘belongs’ to another artist—what we’re ‘seeing’ is really a poem by Karl Holmqvist. Stumbling around, we come across an incongruous assembly of objets trouvés (no need to go into details here, you lucky lot—it’s right there) loosely conceived as an allegorical allusion to the contemporary religion of overconsumption. Dark stuff perhaps—but it bears repeating that sometimes darkness also means comfort, cover, protection, and that light can be deadly, a cipher of lifelessness. What better medium to negotiate this tangle of collapsing dichotomies than a threesome of toilet seats, strategically installed to cover up the holes in the wall that divides the exhibition space in these adjoining spheres? We are free to think of them what we want, put them to use in ways we see fit, though in our phone conversation the artist singled out the significance and symbolic charge of their toroid form—which inevitably leads me to conclude with a brief tip of the hat to the so-called “doughnut theory of the universe.” (What, the “toilet-seat theory of the universe”?) Clearly, in Sprudelspass & Wurst Tossing we catch a glimpse of Marco Bruzzone at his most cosmological.

Dieter Roelstraete